Baker Hughes introduced the DEEPFRAC deepwater multistage-fracturing service, which can save operators hundreds of millions of dollars in offshore developments through efficiency gains across the completion phase. By use of multiposition sleeves and patented flowback-control technology, the service accelerates or eliminates certain steps of conventional multizone completion operations and enables rapid stimulation of multiple stages. This translates into significantly greater reservoir contact, with an average operating-expense savings of USD 30 to 40 million per well. Typically, after a deepwater well has been drilled, the subsequent completion phase involves multiple time-consuming steps. In contrast, the DEEPFRAC service eliminates casing and cementing operations and simplifies fluid logistics by using ball-activated, multiposition sleeves that can be installed in openhole wellbores containing drilling mud. No tool movement is needed during the DEEPFRAC service’s stimulation process. The sleeve’s ball activation enables continuous pumping, cutting the lower completion phase from weeks to days. Conventional offshore stimulation systems are often limited to only five zones or stages, and these systems lack configuration flexibility. The sleeves used in the DEEPFRAC service are modular and flexible, enabling placement of 20 or more tightly spaced stages across the pay zone to ensure more-uniform treatments and to maximize reservoir contact.
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